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Family Law Attorneys in Santa Monica, California

Do You Need A Santa Monica Family Law Lawyer?

At the Harris Family Law Group, our family law attorneys in Santa Monica focus on protecting the rights of our nearly 92,000 residents when they need customized legal guidance and options to pursue the future they envision.

Whether that includes outlining a prenuptial agreement, discovering divorce opportunities, or modifying existing child custody or child support orders, our experienced Los Angeles County family law lawyer, Jeffery L. Harris, creates tailored solutions for each of our clients unique needs.

If you have questions about how your future will look when you begin making changes to your family dynamics, our Santa Monica, California family law attorney will answer your questions and discuss your concerns during a free consultation today.

Santa Monica Family Law Attorney Practice Areas at Harris Family Law Group

At the Harris Family Law Group, our family law lawyer in Santa Monica understands how difficult these circumstances can be for spouses, parents, and any children who are involved in disputes that require legal representation.

Our Santa Monica family law attorney listens to each of our client’s goals, and the obstacles that are keeping them from reaching their objectives without legal intervention.

That is why we are here: to create customized legal solutions for all, so they can move forward with their lives with confidence.

Our family law lawyers in Santa Monica represent clients in the following practice areas:

Whether you need a Santa Monica family law attorney to oversee an uncontested divorce that can be accomplished through mediation or will be embroiled in a high conflict divorce that requires an aggressive and thorough litigator, the Harris Family Law Group has your complete legal needs covered.

What is the Difference Between Divorce and Uncontested Divorce in Santa Monica, California?

When couples decide to divorce in California, some are often surprised by the conflict that ensues while sifting through the details of property division, spousal support, and child custody, and the necessary child support, when applicable.

When disputes arise, and one or both spouses cannot agree on one or more details of the divorce agreement, it is called a contested divorce.

An uncontested divorce is one where both spouses agree on each of the agreement’s details, including property, money, and parenting issues.

An uncontested divorce may not require a court hearing, but instead can be complete by mail, or with a brief appointment with the court clerk.

However, not all marriages are eligible for an uncontested divorce in California, so it is important to speak with an experienced divorce attorney in Santa Monica to ensure you meet the criteria for a summary dissolution.

The eligibility conditions to pursue an uncontested divorce in California include:

  • The reason for the divorce must be irreconcilable differences
  • Neither spouse is seeking spousal support from the other
  • The couple does not have any unpaid debts totaling more than $6,000
  • Neither spouse has any property other than a lease under one year

If you and your spouse can agree on the details of your divorce, an uncontested divorce may be handled in significantly less time than a contested divorce.

Contested divorces are often more expensive, take longer, and are significantly more physically and emotionally taxing, as neither side is willing to give up on their divorce requirements easily.

It is important to understand that even if one spouse opposes the divorce — which may be what is causing the contention — the proceedings may still move forward, as both parties do not have to agree to the filing.

Can We Finalize Our Santa Monica Divorce During Mediation?

Our Santa Monica divorce lawyers have handled all types of divorces over the past two decades, including everything from high-asset and high-conflict divorces to uncontested divorces that are finalized through productive mediation sessions.

What many couples are surprised to learn is that divorce mediation is not just for uncontested divorces. Divorce mediation sessions can be extremely productive for spouses who do not agree on anything at the onslaught of their filing. This is because our Santa Monica divorce mediation attorney takes the time to explain the laws that apply to their divorce, and how those laws will be interpreted by the courts, should they continue their proceedings inside the courtroom.

Mediation provides a comfortable, non-confrontational forum where both spouses can list their goals and begin negotiations that will allow each to control the outcome.

When the details of your divorce can be finalized through mediation, the outcome is confidential, and stays between the spouses, instead of leaving the detailed decisions to a judge, who does not know either one of you.

If maintaining control of your divorce details is important to you, and you believe – no matter how far apart you and your spouse currently are on agreeing – both of you can keep an open mind and are willing to negotiate, divorce mediation may be right for you.

Contact Our Experienced Santa Monica Divorce Attorneys at the Harris Family Law Group for a Free Case Evaluation Today

At the Harris Family Law Group, our divorce attorneys in Santa Monica know that dissolving your marriage is a difficult decision, especially if it was not your idea – or if you were surprised by the request. No matter which side of the divorce you are on, we can help design solutions that support your best interests and a positive future, so you can move forward with confidence.

Contact our skilled Santa Monica divorce attorneys today at the Harris Family Law Group by calling (310) 745-8644 to schedule a free case evaluation, so you know what to expect from the legal process and can plan a successful outcome inside or outside the courtroom.

Frequently Asked Questions for Family Law Attorneys in Santa Monica, California

Can I use Harris Family Law Group as my attorney for both my child support case and my divorce case?

Yes, Harris Family Law Group in Santa Monica has experience handling divorce cases where children are involved. They will be able to handle both aspects of your case with you.

What can I do if my spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers?

After your spouse has been served their divorce paper they have thirty days to sign the papers to begin the divorce process. If they are refusing to sign the papers you will now have a default divorce. In the state of California you may be able to handle this by mail or you may have to have a meeting with a judge.

Does having a prenuptial agreement mean your divorce will go faster?

Having a prenuptial agreement that neither party challenges can make your divorce process much simpler. Often times the more simple divorces take the least amount of time. Even with a prenuptial agreement you will still need to go through the mandatory waiting period.

Are student loans considered community debt?

Even though California is a community property state, student loans are not considered as such. If the student loans were taken out before the marriage, if the spouse’s name is not on the loan, or you were not married 10 years at the time of the divorce the debt is only the borrowers responsibility. There are some instances where it may be considered community property so it is always a good idea to consult with a Santa Monica family lawyer to be sure.

Does the wife get to keep the engagement ring in the event of divorce?

In California receiving an engagement ring is considered a conditional promise. Meaning if the wife was the one to call of the marriage, since it was a gift from the other spouse she would have to give the ring back. If her spouse is the one who call off the marriage and files for divorce then the wife can keep her engagement ring. The same goes for same-sex male couples, it depends on who received the ring as a gift and who filed for divorce.

Are there instances can the divorce waiting period be waived?

A Santa Monica family law attorney can’t get your divorce waiting period waived. In California there is a mandatory 6 month waiting period, which is also referred to as cooling off period. This time period is to ensure you have the time to think through the divorce and that you are positive this is what you want.

How long until I can get remarried after a divorce?

After your divorce is officially finalized and you get the decree of dissolution you can get remarried. If your divorce is simple it could be as little as once the waiting period is over you are able to get remarried.

Is the initial consultation kept confidential even if I don’t hire that attorney?

Yes, even if you do not hire the attorney the consultation is still confidential. As long as you were seeking legal advice, had reason to believe it was going to be kept confidential, or that you were seeking representation the consultation is privileged.

Are divorce records public record in California?

Divorce records are public records in California. If you had children in your marriage your child’s identities would be protected and not be based public. You can request to file a motion to seal your divorce record to make it not public record.

If we were married for over ten years is alimony guaranteed?

If you were married over ten years alimony isn’t necessarily guaranteed but the chances are higher. The other aspect of being married over ten years in California is that the support will last for however long the less earning spouse needs it. The courts no longer rely on how long they assume the less earning spouse will need to become self supporting.

Directions to Los Angeles Family Law Lawyer from Santa Monica, CA

These directions are from Google Maps starting from:
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Total Est. Time: 15 mins
Total Est. Distance: 9.1 mi

  1. Head southeast on 2nd St toward Colorado Ave
  2. Turn left onto Colorado Ave
  3. Turn right onto 4th St
  4. Turn left onto the Interstate 10 E ramp to Los Angeles
  5. Merge onto I-10 E
  6. Take the exit onto I-405 S toward Long Beach
  7. Take the H Hughes Pkwy exit toward Sepulveda Blvd
  8. Turn right onto Howard Hughes Pkwy
  9. Take the 1st right onto Park Terrace Dr
  10. Turn left onto Center Dr
  11. Turn right onto Center Dr. W
  12. The destination will be on the left


Call Us:
(310) 745-8644

We are located at:

6601 Center Drive West, Suite 500
Los Angeles CA 90045

Our Law Firm Also Serve on Following Los Angeles and Orange County’s Cities: